Department of History College of Arts and Sciences Stony Brook University, State University of New York

Department of History College of Arts and Sciences Stony Brook University, State University of New York

Stony Brook, NY
student ratio
Not Reported
total students
average amount to complete degree
January 15
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
2 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


Preparing Historians for the Challenge of 21st Century Academia

Over the past decade and a half, as the historical profession has moved in new directions, the Stony Brook Department of History has launched itself into the vanguard of a parallel re-visioning of graduate education. In 1997, the department reorganized its graduate program along thematic lines. Having anticipated what have become deepening trends in history scholarship and job markets, the program in history at Stony Brook now draws on over a decade of experience in re-thinking historical specialties that have long been defined by geographic region and time period.

Our "thematic clusters" approach builds on the strengths of a nationally and internationally renowned faculty. Stony Brook faculty have received awards from virtually every major public and private foundation that supports history, from the National Science Foundation to the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center to the Wilson Center. Among the current faculty are four recent recipients of the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship, a record that even our Ivy League counterparts have to envy. As a recent review of the department has noted, "this record of national and international recognition confirms the widespread recognition of Stony Brook's history faculty as in the very top tier. This record of scholarship has not come at the cost of their teaching." The Stony Brook graduate program in history currently offers two degree tracks: for a Doctoral degree, and for a terminal Master's degree.

Department of History

The Department of History at Stony Brook offers the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history. The graduate program pivots around several thematic clusters that transcend traditional geographic and period boundaries and that capture the ways in which the faculty members' current interests converge. These thematic areas are: women, gender, sexuality, and reproduction; nation, state, and civil society; empire, modernity and globalization; and environment, science, and health. From the outset, students are prepared to balance area and period specialties with thematic, comparative, and theoretical perspectives. Students start out in their first year with the core seminar, which is taken with the rest of the incoming class and offers an initial experience with the analytic, theme-centered history that they will pursue in their chosen specialties of period and place. Through field seminars, students also learn the classic as well as state-of-the-art scholarship in their specialties. The rest of their courses include the thematic seminars, involving cross-national study of one important aspect of a thematic cluster, which provide all students with analytic tools and comparative frameworks with which to pursue individual research and reading. Among the required as well as optional courses are research seminars, which are flexibly designed to give students guidance and feedback in their individual research projects, as well as more individually tailored workshops.

M.A. students choose from among these courses to complete their 30 course credits (normally 3 credits per course). An oral exam completes their degree requirements. Doctoral students usually complete their course as well as additional requirements--competence in the appropriate languages, a dissertation prospectus, their oral examination--by the end of the third year. They then plunge into full-time dissertation work.

Student Outcomes

Recent doctoral graduates hold academic positions at George Washington University, Boston College, Purdue University, Ohio State University, University of California, and Pennsylvania State University. Both doctoral and master's graduates have also moved into a diversity of nonacademic positions, from university administration, to public school teaching, to archival work, to positions in business and government.

Graduate Admissions

The University and The Department

Established in 1957 as part of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook is now recognized as one of the nation's finest public universities. Stony Brook is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a Doctoral/Research University-Extensive, the highest distinction granted to fewer than 2 percent of all colleges and universities nationwide, reflecting Stony Brook's high volume of federally sponsored research, high percentage of doctoral students, and emphasis on scholarship. A book published by Johns Hopkins University Press (The Rise of American Research Universities: Elites and Challengers in the Postwar Era, by Hugh Davis Graham and Nancy Diamond, 1997) placed Stony Brook among the top three public research universities in the country--second only to the University of California at Berkeley and tied for second with the University of California, Santa Barbara--in research per faculty member.

Building on a decades-long tradition of postgraduate training, the Stony Brook history department has also recently leaped to the forefront of innovation in graduate instruction. Starting in 1998, the department reoriented the curriculum in ways that its own scholarship and the history profession were already moving. Now, alongside a thorough grounding in their choice of geographic and chronological specialty, a student's course of study revolves around processes, topics, and themes that transcend national or regional boundaries. The thematic history the department teaches enables communication between specialists as well as more comparative and analytic approaches. It is also an increasing advantage in the job market, where the demand for those who can teach global as well as, for example, U.S. or Latin American history, continues to rise.

In addition to placing the curriculum in the forefront of current historical interests, reshaping the doctoral offerings around these thematic clusters also connects the doctoral program to strengths in Stony Brook outside the history department. For example, the department's interest in women, gender, and sexuality links it to women's studies; its versatility in Latin American issues joins it to Africana studies, to Hispanic languages and literature, and to the English and sociology departments. The department's strengths in environmental history link it to the many faculty members from natural and social sciences and humanities involved in the environmental studies program; its focus on the social history of medicine connects us to the Medical School; its interest in race and ethnicity links it to Africana Studies and the Latin American Center; and its strength in cultural studies connects the department to a whole range of departments in the humanities. The history department strongly encourages this kind of interdisciplinary work.

Location & Contact

Department of History

College of Arts and Sciences
Stony Brook University, State University of New York

Nicolls Road
Stony Brook, NY 11794
United States

Prof. Gary Marker


Phone: 631-632-7510
Fax: 631-632-7367

Roxanne Fernandez


Phone: 631-632-7490
Fax: 631-632-7367

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Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • History Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Arts (MA)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 6
    • Doctoral Degrees 9
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Not reported
    • Evening/weekend programs available? Yes
    • Distance learning programs available? Not reported
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


28% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 50
    • Accepted 29
    • Acceptance Rate 28
    • Enrolled 11
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $100
    • Application Fee - International $100
    • Electronic applications accepted? Not Reported
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline January 15th Not Reported Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline October 1st Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE General Test
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & Fees$4,685
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsNot Reported
    • Types of financial support availableFellowships, Teaching Assistantships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students65
    • Female Percentage43%
    • Male Percentage57%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students65
    • Part-time Percentage6%
    • Full-time Percentage94%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino6%
    • Black / African American6%
    • White / Caucasian72%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian2%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races2%
    • Unknown12%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty33
    • Full-time Percentage85%
    • Part-time Percentage15%
    • Female Percentage48%
    • Male Percentage52%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchAmerican history, cultural history, political history
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last year$44,425